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May 4, 2014

Story Teller - Story Collector

Gersen's Darsh adversaries.
Left: Bel Ruk. Behind and
right, the semblance
of Lens Larque
People, Places and Things
In Jack Vance's Demon Princes novel, The Face, Kirth Gersen pursues the villainous Lens Larque to his home planet, Dar Sai, second planet of Coranne System. Vance provided his readers with snippets from fictional books such as Tourist Guide to the Coranne by Jane Szantho and Peoples of the Caranne by Richard Pelto.

Over the centuries, the Darsh have adapted to the hot and dry conditions of Dar Sai. The stoic Darsh put up with the harsh environmental conditions because the sands of the planet hold rare heavy metals of great value. Nearby, the planet Methel is populated by a different people who have grown rich off the labor of the Darsh.

Preland facial features
The relationship between the Methlen and the Darsh reminds me of a Star Trek episode where the lordly residents of the cloud city Stratos have grown comfortable living of the mining work done by the lowly Troglytes (The Cloud Minders). In the Exode Trilogy, the entire human race is at risk of becoming a sad evolutionary dead end, lost in the wake of the more advanced Prelands, but is there anything we can do about it?

The Prelands have been designed by the pek to be another evolutionary step closer to being able to transcend their biological nature and become artificial life forms able to reside in the Sedronic Domain of the universe.

In the Exode Trilogy, the characters are a rather diverse collection of primates, aliens and artificial life forms. The primates include Neanderthals, conventional 20th century Earthlings,  Asterothropes (from the far future), Prelands, the Buld, the Pla, the Kac'hin and the Ek'col. In my previous blog post I described some of the unique design features of the Prelands with special attention paid to the digestive, respiratory and reproductive systems. Below, I describe an interesting feature of the Preland brain.
Two different brain patterns (left vs right sides in this image, above). (image source)

The Preland brain has been selected for specialization in facilitating thought about place and location. In contrast, as an Asterothrope, Trysta's brain has a high capacity for understanding people. 

The Ek'col brain pattern has similarities to the Preland pattern. Since Parthney is a clone of Thomas and Thomas is the son of an Ek'col father and an Asterothrope mother, Parthney has rather unusual hybrid brain structure.

Thomas and Parthney had quite different environments when they were growing up. Both Asterothrope and Preland brains are dependent on nanites for critical growth cues. The developing brain of Thomas was guided by nanites from his mother, Trysta. Thomas began creating stories at a young age and I'd describe him as a compulsive story teller.

Parthney's brain was allowed to develop at its own pace and he began using language at a developmental age that was three or four later than the chronological age where Thomas did. Parthney was an excellent listener and while growing up on Hemmal he became a prolific collector of stories about Earth.

Asterothropes. Left: hermaphrodite,
right: female.
gallery of photomanipulations
The offspring of Asterothropes and Ek'col have brains that are the primate analog of the strange temporal attractor that constrains the Reality Chain of the Exode Trilogy. Earthlings have rushed too quickly towards a technological civilization and they threaten to either produce a nuclear cataclysm or and ecological disaster caused by fossil fuel use. As illustrated by Thomas and Parthney, brain development in Asterothrope/Ek'col hybrids
is also constrained by a strange attractor.

The pek quickly recognized the inherent brain instability of Asterothrope/Ek'col hybrids. The Kac'hin were found to be a convenient "antidote" for this pathology. Thus, the son of Parthney and Kach (Boswei) is behaviorally "normal" and has almost normal human interfertility with Earth women (specifically, Hana).

Sedronic Domain
The Huaoshy have a particular ethical perspective: they view the three dimensional universe of conventional matter as a kind of garden, the special subdomain of the universe where life can spontaneously arise.

The Huaoshy expect nothing more from planets like Earth than that they give rise to life and they deploy the pek as their "gardeners" to make sure that nothing disrupts the life-generating power of such planets.

When species like we humans arise, the pek guide their development towards attainment of the capacity to transcend their physical existence in the three dimensional domain. The goal is for each technology-wielding species to become an artificial life form that resides in the Sedronic Domain. The Sedronic Domain of the universe is the higher dimensional domain where sedronic matter can exist in ten dimensions rather than three.

Assembling R. Gohrlay
A major challenge for any species that transitions into the Sedronic Domain is that the concepts of "place" and "location" have an entirely new meanings. Thus, in order to facilitate the transcendence of a species like we humans into the Sedronic Domain, the pek must work very hard to alter the species' brain structure so as to allow a more flexible capacity for conceptualizing place in higher dimensions.

By the time Gohrlay came along, the Prelands had already been taken down past the next bend in the evolutionary road for primate brain evolution. Neanderthals, like all humans, were heavily "people oriented", their brains adapted to a form of unconscious telepathic contact with other people. The Prelands were made much more "place oriented" by the pek.

The Kac'hin had been designed by the pek to be very "thing oriented". The Kac'hin were called upon to help understand how the Neanderthal brains achieved telepathic contact and how time travel devices could be used to combat R. Gohrlay's tribe of telepathic positronic robots.


Story Teller
Thomas inherited some rudimentary telepathic ability from his mother which was guided and amplified by the nanites that Trysta provided to him. Anyone with telepathic abilities is acutely aware of the fact that most human brain activity is unconscious. From an early age Thomas could watch other people contriving elaborate "just so stories" to account for their own (mostly unconscious) actions. Thomas became quite uninterested in the minds of Earthlings: he viewed them as automatons with only a tiny occasional flicker of autonomy and free will. His story telling style and abilities depended on what he had inherited from his father and from the Preland brain pattern.

Thomas was fascinated by the idea that visitors to Earth had been coming and going for millions of years. His stories were adventure stories with the protagonist always eager to explore over the next hill. Thomas had to work hard to make his characters understandable to Earthlings.

Thomas always preferred to write about characters who were cognitively similar to primate variants like the Asterothropes: those who were endowed with a more advanced understanding of their own minds than are we humans, but he had to explain non-human consciousness to Earthlings using terms that they could understand.

From an early age the characters deployed in the stories that Thomas wrote seemed to be endowed with fantastic magical powers. However, in his early stories he was describing technology-assisted abilities that might seem magical to ignorant Earthlings. Later, in his "fantasy period", Thomas explicitly crossed over to write stories in the fantasy genre where he need not even make an effort to describe the technologies being used by his characters.
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Related reading: how to build a new brain
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"The Storyteller" by Joe Bergeron

 

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